Some things seem like they might never happen: man traveling at light-speed, AI that is truly sentient, a striped shirt that doesn’t make you look fat… and a respectable Engadget commenting system. Well folks, today you can cross one of those lofty goals off of the bucket list. Yes, you read that right. Starting today — right now — Engadget has a brand-spanking-new comment system powered by the dynamic and insanely flexible Disqus architecture. Even if you don’t know the name, you’ve probably seen Disqus in one form or another — it’s used on CNN, Mashable, All Things Digital, and a slew of other sites you likely frequent.
So what’s new with Engadget comments? Pretty much everything. For starters, the inner and outer workings of our system have changed substantially — for the better. We’ve added multiple, threaded reply levels (hello 1998!), real-time updating of new comments, image and video attachments inline, and yes… comment editing. That means next time you write “dandroid” instead of “fandroid,” you can actually make the fix (unless you were nicknaming your friend Dan — then carry on). Using Disqus also allows us to make commenting on Engadget easier than ever before (for new and old users alike) by providing login connectivity with Facebook, Twitter, and OpenID. That also means that you can tweet or post to your wall when commenting, and we’ve got future plans for all kinds of funky integration with the services you know and love. If you don’t want to use those pesky social networking services, you can create a Disqus account as well (you’ll be able to comment on other Disqus sites using that account too). We’re also scrapping the down- and up-ranking scheme we’ve had for voting on comments. If you like something, give it the +1 you’ve been talking about for years. And of course, if something is offensive or out of line, report it to us so we can deal with it properly. Which brings us to… moderation.
Switching over to Disqus in comments also means that our ability to moderate is dramatically and drastically upgraded, which is bad, bad news for the trolls and spammers who have made commenting life on Engadget a royal pain in the backside at times. Thanks to a set of pretty powerful tools we’ll be deploying, we’ll be better equipped than ever before to deal with rogue commenters — from minor pains to major trollbursts. From here on out, the editors’ and moderators’ ability to track, control, delete, and ban inside and outside of comments will be markedly improved, meaning that we’ll act quicker and more precisely to scrap the bad eggs and keep the conversation civil. Fanboys, you’re officially on notice. For those of you who love Engadget and are responsible commenters, keep up the good work, because we’re toying with moderator promotions for those of you who have what it takes to keep the troublemakers in check.
Active commenters — you should know that the one thing we leave behind along with our commenting system is your Engadget account. Starting with this post, you’ll need to either create a Disqus account, or use one of the aforementioned services to login and comment. Older comments and accounts won’t go away, but the ability to comment on older posts will cease after a short while. We think this is a minor tradeoff considering the benefits, and we know that a lot of readers who have had some trepidation about getting into the Engadget commenting pool will finally have a chance to get their feet wet. We know everyone is going to take a little time adjusting, but we’ll be on-hand to try and answer questions, and we’ll also be keeping a close watch on comments for rising stars and early abusers.
So, with that said, we think it’s a good time to remind everyone of what we think commenting should be like on the site, so we’re including our Human’s Guide to Commenting on Engadget below. Enjoy… and get writing!
Update: Just a note, if you see weirdness, don’t panic! We’re still working out a few kinks and tweaking stuff like the comment count and mobile app implementation.
We finally, really did it: Engadget gets a new commenting system originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 18 Aug 2010 00:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.